Can The New Normal in Real Estate Be Any Less Interesting?

The question gets asked all of the time…”How do you feel the housing market is recovering?”  I think it has!!  To me, the current market is the normal market for several years to come.  Not only because of demand but also because of systems put in place to keep it that way.  Last week I was driving around with a Broker that represents several of the largest National home builders and the only thing that really got my attention was the Salted Carmel Espresso from Starbucks.  He wasn’t knocking on doors making “gotta have it” offers and he surely wasn’t talking about record breaking new home starts.  He was talking about finding the hungry farmer or the “backdoor” plan for a potential developer, the way they make money after all the residential lots are developed.  He was being creative and using years of experience to create deals from nothing.  I remember 10 years ago driving around with this guy and he could not tie up land fast enough for the new builders and we’re not talking cheap land.  Making the kids rich was not just an expression, but was happening all over.  Farmers that had worked their tales off to make ends meet were suddenly barons of land and talking about curb cuts.  All of this was possible because home building was through the roof, since anyone that knew someone with a pulse could get a home loan and build a home fast.   Not anymore.

Sure home building is better than that past few years but to say booming just doesn’t have the same jazz.  So what do I need to do to make this New Normal more interesting?  I need to find a different way of doing business.  The brokerage community is still talking about “listers last” and “If we just had more Inventory”, but I am not buying it nor am I waiting around.  So here is what I want and plan.

1.  Real Estate is no longer just helping a friend get inside the perfect home but truly an expert driven marketing machine.  Warm and fuzzy makes for a nice cocktail party, but today’s agent has to be in the mood for a challenge and know what they are talking about from showing to closing.  God forbid we treat each transaction like a money making business because then we may look like a Money Making Business and not just community volunteers.

2.  Communication is on demand.  The agent that has to “Check” their email or hasn’t got the message yet today, is done.  Active agents are Facebooking, Tweeting, LinkedIning, Pinning, Messaging, Posting and every other ‘ing out there staying on top of a deal and a client.  I can’t imagine not having social media as a form of communication today.  Trolling in Real Estate exists online as much as at the local coffee shop.  Just watch #realtor on twitter for 10 minutes, you may be surprised.

3.  Full-time, Professionals have a leg up.  Watching interest rates change may be fun to some but knowing how they really are affected and what they can do to a clients deal are mandatory now.  They days of being a generalist and passing all questions along to a “strategic partner” are gone.  We have to know what is happening real time and if your not in the dirt every day you can’t possibly advise to the best extent.  I can’t truly try to negotiate a listing or purchase contingent on asking an expert.  We are experts.

So where am I going with this you may ask?  I am going back to the ride along with the home builders rep.  No longer is he out writing orders and taking them back to the home office keeping greedy shareholders happy.  He is digging deep, creating a deal, establishing value, advising on strategic planning, taking risk, negotiating outcome and creating a viable long term marketable investment for his buyers and sellers.  And He is doing this from a local standpoint that no company from Phoenix or elsewhere can help him target.  This is the way the future agent will produce and we will do it very very fast.  Now that is interesting….

-curt